I quickly sliced three small eggplants in half lengthwise and cut the middles out of them to leave a space to stuff with the delicious ricotta filling. I chopped up the fleshy eggplant that was cut from its shell and tossed it into a pan with garlic and onion to sautee in some olive oil for about 15 minutes. I salted the insides of the eggplant shells and set them aside while I prepped the rest of the stuffing.
Rice also needs to be prepared for the stuffing -- the recipe calls for long grain rice to be parboiled (I had to call my mom to find out this just means boiled for a short amount of time to soften them some) for about 8 minutes.
Once the rice and veggies are all done, they are mixed together with ricotta and chopped herbs (I used thyme) and stuffed into the eggplant. Top these with toasted breadcrumbs and parmigiana cheese, and they're ready to go in the oven.
I arrived at Meg's house only about 15 minutes late, so the prep for this recipe was definitely quick. Once there, I popped the dish into the oven for about 40 minutes, until the tops were lightly browned.
We waited 15 minutes or so after these came out of the oven before eating them, but if I were to make it again I would eat them immediately. The eggplant cools down pretty quickly and would have been better super hot. Still, I really enjoyed this dish, especially the stuffing. It's creamy and herby, but still feels like a fresh vegetable dish and is pretty filling.
eggplants -- $10.00
onion -- $1.83
thyme -- $2.99 (plenty left over)
ricotta -- $3.79 (about half left)
Total Cost of Eggplant Stuffed with Ricotta and Herbs: $18.61 (which made 6 servings)